Annoying inflexibility at Manchester Airport Security

In was travelling back to Edinburgh from Manchester recently and it took me nearly 40 minutes to clear Manchester Airport security.


Not because the queues were long but because my trays of stuff got chosen for an extra search.

manchester airport security
photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc

You know what happens. As the tray clears the X-Ray, the machine shoves it into a separate channel and delivers it to a security man who has a whole box of tricks containing swabbing equipment and metal detectors.

I had two trays. One for my bag and one for my jacket, ipad and toiletries (all wrapped up in the obligatory clear plastic bag).

The machine selected my first tray selected at random. So the security guy had to search through a few days worth of worn and smelly clothes, and swab everything in my bag. Once done he then put it through the X-Ray again.

My second tray also got selected. This was because the machine didn’t like the shape of my deodorant container (though it was still less than 100ml). The same security guard then swabbed my jacket and toiletries and as before took my second tray and put it through the X-Ray again.

Then the machine mercilessly selected my second tray for a random search.

The same security guard collected it and went once more for his swabs. I said, “Surely you don’t have to swab it again you just did so five minutes ago?” But no. He has to do what the machine says. So he swabs my jacket, ipad and toiletries for a second time and then back through the X-Ray for a third time. I held my breath. Thankfully the tray made it through without being selected again.

I’m not saying that we don’t need airport security, but it seems to me that there should be an allowance for common sense. I had a laugh with the security man about this, but surely it would make sense to give him the flexibility to over-rule a clearly stupid decision by the machine.

Airports offer a grim enough experience as it is. Wouldn’t it be good if they tried to make the security process more sensible? At the moment they overlook common sense in favour of covering the Government’s backside resulting in stupid scenarios like I experienced above.

Your turn: Have you recently experienced Manchester Airport Security? Or any other airport security for that matter. Have you complained? I’d like to hear your stories. Please leave a comment by clicking on “Leave a Reply.”

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